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xxii Journal of the Anthropological Society. 

considerable difference in the apptearance of the people in different 
districts. At Calne, gray eyes and dark hair are prevalent; about 
Wilton, the people are fair, and have the Teutonic form of head ; at 
Southampton, the type is fairer than among the majority of the 
people of Wiltshire, and on approaching the focus of the Saxon inva- 
sion, Teutonic resemblances become stronger. Mr. Blake had asked 
whether the differences he had observed had any relation to the 
differences that might have existed between the Belgte and the 
Dobuni. He was not prepared to say he had found such differ- 
ences. Both north and south of the Belgic frontier there was a 
mingling of dark and fair. Mr. Bowland Williams had said of the 
people of S.W. Wiltshire, that neither Saxons nor Celts, but pre- 
Celtic he thought them ; and if there were any relics of the Belgse, 
they would be found there. With respect to the characteristics of the 
people of Milford Haven, he had seen few of them : the Teutonic 
type did occur there, and the natives all testified to the distinction 
of l'ace : but judging from the family names he did not think the 
prior Welsh population had been completely expelled. As to the 
prevalence of diseases among people of distinct complexions, he had 
paid some attention to that subject, but he considered it was one that 
belonged rather to medical science than to anthropology. In an article 
in the British Medical Journal, two years ago, lie had expressed the 
opinion that consumption is not more prevalent among fair -haired 
persons than among those with black hair. Those who were least 
liable to that disease he thought were persons whose hair is of an 
intermediate colour. Cancer generally attacks persons with black 
hair, while light haired individuals are most liable to skin diseases. 
With regard to the term melancholic temperament, he meant by it to 
express something answering to the description given of it by the 
ancients, and it was generally accompanied with black or dark hair 
and a dark complexion, hypochondriacs being often found in that 
class. Sanguine people (who are often red-haired), on the contrary, 
often go on suffering, even to the point of death, without making any 
complaint ; and it is difficult to make them comprehend that they are 
in danger. Whether ,fair -haired people adapt themselves to change of 
climate better than those who have dark hair, is a question of extreme 
importance and should be carefully investigated. He must confess he 
had heard the opinions that had been expressed on the subject with 
some surprise; for the impression on his mind was that most of the 
recent African travellers have dark complexions. 

A paper contributed by Dr. Chamock, " On Cannibalism in Europe," 
was, in his absence, read by Mr. C. Carter Blake. 

Cannibalism in Europe. By Bichard Stephen Charnock, Ph. Dr., 
F.S.A., F.B.G.S., F. and Treas. A.S.L. 

The discussion last year at the Anthropological Society of London upon 
certain remains at Caithness, has opened up the question whether can- 
nibalism has ever been practised in Europe 1 The subject is, of course, 



Chamock on Cannibalism in Europe. xxiii 

unpalatable to Europeans, and perhaps few will be inclined to believe 
in it. When, however, it is taken into account that the inhabitants of 
Europe were at one time quite as savage as those who have practised, 
or who still practise this crime, surely the present generation need not 
blush to admit the fact. It may be thought out of place to refer to 
fabulous history ; but the question arises, what is, and what is not, 
fabulous. Until the discovery of gold in California, El Dorado was 
looked upon as a myth. Again, it was customary to scout as fables all 
stories of Amazons, or even of an established equality in any nation of 
women with men ; but the travels of Captain Burton and Dr. Living- 
stone have proved that in parts of Africa such a position is actually 
occupied by the female sex at this day.' :; ' In the Homeric poems the 
Cyclops are a gigantic, insolent, and lawless race of shepherds, who 
lived in the south-western part of Sicily, and devoured human beings, t 
We learn from Porphyry, that in Chios and Tenedos, the votaries of 
Bacchus sacrificed to him, avOpumov Sicunrovres, tearing a man limb 
from limb, and eating him, no doubt, as the w/MXparyaia, or eating 
raw flesh, was one of the peculiar rites of the Dionysiac mysteries. 
According to Sextus Empiricus, the first laws that were made were 
for the prevention of this practice, which Greek writers represent 
as universal before the time of Orpheus. "Fabulous history", says 
Dr. Brewster, J "is full of accounts of anthropophagi. According 
to some authors, to eat human flesh was a primitive and universal 
custom. Thus Entremerus informs us, as the passage has been trans- 
lated by Ennius (quoted by Lactantius Divin. Institut., vol. c. xiii, p. 59), 
that Saturn and Ops, and the rest of mankind in their time, were ac- 
customed to feed on human flesh. Satumum et Opem, cceterosque turn 
homines humanurn carnem solitos esitare. The first step towards civilis- 
ation was the abolition of this barbarous custom ; and Orpheus is 
thought to have had the merit of this reformation. What Horace says 
concerning him cannot well be understood except as relating to this 
practice : — ■ 

" Csedibus, et victu faedu deterrent Orpheus." 

By the poets, the Lsestrygones, the Lamise, the Sirens, and the 
Cyclops are all celebrated as infamous Anthropophagi. Circe and 
Scylla come under the same character as individuals. A horrid account 
is given by Homer of the fate of Ulysses' companions in the Cyclops' 
den — 

" Torn limb from limb, he spreads the horrid feast, 
And fierce, devours it like a mountain beast. 
He sucks the marrow, and the blood he drains ; 
Nor entrails, flesh, nor solid bone remains." 

Though these accounts be overcharged and mixed with fable, there 
can be little doubt that they are founded on the manners of the times ; 
for we find the same accounts given by grave historians, and authenti- 
cated by all the evidence which the nature of the case will admit. 
Indeed Diogenes, Chrysippus, Zeno, and most of the stoics main- 

* Eawlinson's Herodotus. 

t Horn. Od., vi, 5, ix, 106, etc., 190, etc., 240, etc., x, 200. $ Encyc. Brit, 



xxiv Journal of the Anthropological Society. 

tained that there was nothing unnatural in the eating of human flesh, 
and that it was more reasonable to use dead bodies for food, than to 
give them a prey to the worms and to putrefaction. 

A late French writer'"" says : — "Et d'ailleurs, si Ton considere l'an- 
thropophagie sous le point de vue serieux et rationnel qui convient a 
notre epoque, il est facile de voir que le crime est dans le meurtre qui 
prec&de, et non clans l'acte de manger la chair de son semblable. Cette 
chair ne presente pas de difference appreciable avec celle des animaux 
que nous employons pour notre nourriture ; et les personnes qui se sont 
trouvees dans 1' obligation de s'en nourrir, dans de penibles circonstances, 
ne lui out trouve' aucun gout desagreable : les sauvages pretendent 
meme qu'elle est fort bonne. lis repondront d'ailleurs victorieusement, 
par leur vigueur et leur sant6 l'obust, a ceux qui voudraient faire sup- 
poser a cette chair des qualit6s nuisibles, quand meme des exemples 
plus recens et plus voisins ne seraient pas la pour d6montrer le con- 
traire. Si done, dans les cas ou des individus ou des populations se sont 
trouves reduits a se nourrir de chair humaine, on a observe une grande 
mortalite, e'est moins a cette nourriture qu'il faut l'attribuer qu'aux 
circonstances au milieu desquelles on a ete forc6 d'y avoir recours." 

St. Jerome, after stating that the Sarmatse, Quadi, and several other 
nations, eat the flesh of horses and foxes, says:t — "What shall I say 
of other nations ; when I myself, when young, have seen in Gaul the 
Attacoti (by others the Scotch), a British nation, who, though they 
might have fed on swine and other animals in the forest, chose rather 
to cut off the posteriors of the youths and the breasts of the young 
women, and considered them as the most delicious food." To which 
Voltaire adds, "Pelloutier, who sought for everything that might do 
honour to the Celts, took the pains to contradict Jerome, and to main- 
tain that his credulity had been imposed upon. But Jerome speaks 
very gravely, and of what he saw. We may, with deference, dispute 
with a father of the church about what he has heard ; but to doubt of 
what he has seen is going very far. After all, the safest way is to doubt 
of everything, even of what we have seen ourselves." The Attacoti in 
Britain are said to have inhabited the whole country from Loch Fine, 
on the west, to the eastward of the River Leven and Loch Lomond, 
and to have been called in ancient British, Mthacoeti, or the men 
dwelling along the extremity of the wood. My friend, Mr. C. Carter 
Blake states in a private note that the " most correct edition! °f *he 
father gives Atticolos, instead of Atticotos"; but this only fixes the 
practice to a greater certainty upon the Gaels ; for if the proper form 
of the word is Attacoti or Mthacoeti, it would seem to come from the 

* Encyc. des Gens du Monde. 

f "Quid loquar de cseteris nationibus, qnum ipse adolescentulus in Gallid 
viderim Atticotos [Al. Scotos], gentem Bi'itannicam, humanis vesci camibus, 
et qnum per silvas porcorum greges pecudumque reperiant, tamen pastormn 
nates et fceminarum papillas solere abscindere et has solas ciborum delicias 
ai'bitrari." — Hieron., ii, 335 ; Migne, Pairologie, Cursus Completws, t. xxii, 24. 

X Edit. Vallarsii, lib. ii, cap. vii, torn, ii, p. 355. See also Buchanan, lib. 
ii; Eerum Scoticarum, etc., p. 17; Amm. Marcell., lib. xxvi, c. iv, and lib. 
xxvii ; and Hieron. Epist., 69, No. 03. 



GliurnocJc on Cannibalism in Europe. xxv 

Welsh coed, a wood, whereas Attacoli is more probably from the Gaelic 
coille, of the same meaning. 

The inhabitants of Iris, i.e. Ireland, were anciently reputed to be 
eaters of human flesh.* According to some writers, the Galatfe 
who dwelt in Europe also practised this custom, t Speaking of the 
Gauls, Diodorus Siculus says : — "The women here are both as tall and 
courageous as the men. The children for the most part from their 
birth are grey-headed ; but when they grow up to man's estate, their 
hair changes in colour like to their parents. Those towards the north, 
and bordering upon Scythia, are so exceedingly fierce and cruel that 
(as report goes), they eat men like the Britains that inhabit Iris." 
Pliny mentions the Essedones as a barbarous people, who eat the flesh 
of their friends after death, and made drinking-bowls of their skulls. 
Herodotus,:]: who styles them loor/Soves, says : — "When a man's father 
dies, all the near relations bring sheep to the house, which are sacrificed, 
and their flesh cut in pieces, while at the same the dead body under- 
goes the like treatment. The two sorts of flesh are afterwards mixed 
together, and the whole is served up at a banquet. The head of the 
dead man is treated differently : it is stripped bare, cleansed, and set 
in gold. It then becomes an ornament on which they pride themselves, 
and is brought out year by year at the great festival, which sons keep 
in honour of their fathers' death, just as the Greeks keep theirs. In 
other respects, the Issedonians are reputed to be observers of justice ; 
and it is to be remarked that their women have equal authority with 
the men. Thus our knowledge extends as far as this nation." The 
Essedones were a Scythian people, who lived partly in Europe and 
partly in Asia,§ but there is no proof that the boundary line in any- 
wise affected their habits and customs. Among the Massagetse, who 
had a community of wives, when any person grew old, they killed him 
and ate his flesh ; but if he died of sickness, they buried him, esteem- 
ing him unhappy. The Massagetse were a people of Central Asia ; 
but were looked upon as a part of the Scythian nation, which also 
inhabited Europe. || 

" In the middle ages, it is time," says a late writer,1T "these stories 
of cannibalism were wonderfully enlarged, and people who had not 
embraced Christianity were ]jretty generally set down as anthropo- 
phagi. When the Lombards invaded Italy at the end of the sixth 
century, it was reported of them that they ate human flesh ; and a 
century later the same aspersions were cast on the Slavonian tribes. 
It became the fashion to bandy the accusation between enemies ; 
thus, during the Crusades, the Saracens said the Christians ate 
human flesh, as well as the unclean flesh of swine ; while the Chris- 
tians on their side maintained that the Saracens ate men, women, and 

* See I. Boe'm. Mar. Lex., et Bit. Omn. Gent., Genev., 1620; Diodorus, Sic. 
v, chap. ii. 
+ Ibid. He calls Ireland, Iris ; a word doubtless corrupted from Ie/jcis. 
j B. iv, c. xxvi. 

§ See Mela, ii, 1, 4; Plin., H. 1ST., iv, § 26, vii, § 7, and c. xvii, § 19. 
|| Cf. Eennell's Geog. of Herodotus, s. x; Arrian, iv, 17; Plin., H. N., v, 9. 
IT P. Cyc. 



xxvi Journal of the Anthropological Society. 

children, and were particularly fond of a sucking Christian babe torn 
fresh from the breast of its mother. The giants and ogres of oivr 
nursery tales are only the Saracens of the holy wars seen through the 
magnifying glasses of tradition and romance. It does not much sur- 
prise us that in those rude ages men should try to fix a revolting 
practice on their sworn foes, but we can hardly understand why the 
minstrels of the Christians should convert their most approved heroes 
into cannibals, and praise them for the quantity of infidel flesh they 
devoured. Yet our Richard I is put in this predicament by the 
author or authors of the romance of Richard Gaeur de Lion. Accord- 
ing to the poem, the first symptom of the king's recovery from a dan- 
gerous sickness at Acre, was a violent longing for pork, and as pork 
was difficult to procure in a Mohammedan country, his cook dressed 
him a Turk's head, of which Richard ate with a good appetite, and 
felt himself quite well in consequence. After some more repasts of 
the same kind, he is made to say — 

' King Richard shall warrant, 
There is no flesli so nourissant 
Unto an English man, 
Partridge, plover, heron ne swan, 
Cow ne ox, sheep ne swine, 
As the head of a Sarezyne !' " 

It would doubtless be going too far to assert that in modern times 
any European nation or tribe has been addicted to cannibalism. Many 
solitary cases have however occurred in different parts of Europe. 
According to Reinard,* Tarik (from whom Gibraltar, Jibed Tank, had 
its name) killed his prisoners, and served them up as rations to his 
troops. "This delicacy," says Mr. Ford, "formed a recliauffe in 
modem Spanish bills of fare : the entree was pleasantly called un 
guisado cl la Qiiesada, the patriotic nacionales having killed and eaten 
part of that rough and tough royalist in 1836." In Germany, during 
the reign of Joseph II, gypsies have been known to murder travel- 
lers, cut them to pieces, salt and eat them. The history of Milan 
furnishes an extraordinary instance of anthropophagy. In that city, 
in the year 1519, a woman was broken on the wheel and burnt for 
enticing into her house children whom she killed and salted. It 
seems she had carried on the practice for a considerable period. 
During the late well meant, and at the same time futile attempt to 
unite Italians, Greeks, Celts and Germans into what has been absurdly 
denominated "Italian nation", numerous instances of cannibalism 
have been recorded. One of the most revolting cases that has hap- 
pened in France is that of the brigand, cannibal Ferrage. Blaise Fer- 
rage, surnamed Seye, was bom at the village of Ceseau in the Com- 
minges, where he followed the business of a mason. At the age of 
twenty-two he retired to the mountains of Aure, where he took up 
his abode in the hollow of a rock, whence he decoyed the peasants, 
and having first robbed them, assassinated and devoured them. " II 
pr6ferait, disait-on, pour ses repas de cannibale, les femmes, et surtout 

* Inv. des Saraoins. f Enoyo. Met. 



CharnocJc on Cannibalism in Europe. xxvii 

les jeunes filles. Les cadavres des hommes qu'il egorgeait ne pouvaient 
satisfaire que sa voracitS, tandis qu'il pouvait commettre un double 
crime sur eeux des femmes qui expiraient sous ses coups, et qui, 
avant de devenir sa pature, servaient a satisfaire sa Insure. La plus 
tendre enfance n'obtenait meme pias grace a ses yeux, et le fer pretait 
au besoin son secours a ses attentats." 

An account of this monster is found recorded in the Causes Celebres* 
He was broken on the wheel on the 13th December, 1782. A still 
more horrible case occurred in Scotland in the time of Elizabeth of 
England. Sawney Beane, his mistress, and family, lived for twenty-five 
years in the county of Galloway in a cavern washed by the ocean. 
In the neighbourhood they waylaid travellers, none of whom were 
ever afterwards heard of, either living or dead, a circumstance which 
created great surprise and alarm in the vicinity. The discovery 
was made in the following manner. On one occasion a man and his 
wife were attacked whilst passing through a forest. The husband 
escaped, having first been compelled to witness the murder of his 
wife. Subsequently the king in person, with a force of four hundred 
men scoured the country, and, after some difficulty, discovered 
the lair of the Sawney family. On entering the cavern, legs, arms, 
thighs, hands, and feet of men, women, and children were found 
hung up in rows round the walls like dried beef ; and a great many 
limbs lay in pickle. There was also discovered a good deal of money, 
besides watches, rings, swords, pistols, clothes, linen, etc., thrown to- 
gether in heaps. Sawney's family, at the time of their capture, besides 
the lord and master, included his wife, eight sons, six daughters, 
eighteen grandsons, and fourteen granddaughters, all born in incest. 
They were all executed in a most barbarous manner and without trial. 
It was reckoned that at least one thousand men, women, and children 
had fallen victims to this monster and his family. A full account of 
the case, with an engraving of the brigand-cannibal's den, will be found 
in Captain Charles Johnson's History of famous Highwaymen. t In 
some instances the desire for human flesh appears like other perver- 
sions of the appetite, to have been occasioned by disease. MigneJ says : 
— ■" Certains hommes sont saisis tout a coup d'une affreuse manie : ils 
tuent et devorent leurs semblables. Plusieurs faits de ce genre ont 6t6 
recueillies par le professeur Chr. Griiner d'lena. Des femmes enceintes 
eprouvent le meme desir. Enfin, cette passion semble quelquefois se 
perpe"tuer dans une famille et se transmettre hereditairement, comme 
une disposition physique ou morale, des peres a leurs enfants." Thus, 
in Germany, one Goldschmidt, a cowherd, who had committed a murder, 
and, to prevent discovery, had cut the body in pieces, suddenly felt a 
craving for human flesh, and, after devouring the body of the mur- 
dered man, afterwards killed an infant in order to gratify his unnatural 
longing. Boethius, in his history of Scotland, § mentions an instance 
in Angus, where this disease seized a whole family, consisting of a man, 
his wife, and children. They had killed and eaten several persons 

* l re S., t. iv, 59, Paris, 1835. t London, fol., 1734. 

J "Diet. D'Anthrop., t. xliv, p. 1041. § Lib. xviii. 



xxviii Journal of the Anthropological Society. 

whom they had enticed into their dwelling. They were all sentenced 
to be burnt alive except one daughter of tender years, but scarcely had 
the latter reached her twelfth year when she was executed for the same 
crime.* 

Many cases of cannibalism have been caused by sheer famine. On 
the retreat from Moscow the soldiers are said to have been compelled 
to eat the bodies of their deceased comrades. Voltaire speaks of one 
instance in his own province, attested by Julius Cassar. The latter 
was besieging Alexia, in the Auxois. The besieged having resolved to 
defend themselves to the last extremity, and wanting provisions, a 
great council was assembled, in which one of the chiefs, Critognatus, 
proposed that the children should be eaten one after another, to 
sustain the strength of the combatants. His proposal was carried by 
a majority of voices ; and Critognatus, in his harangue, tells them 
that their ancestors had had recourse to the same kind of sustenance 
in the war with the Cimbri and Teutones. "One word more on canni- 
balism," says Voltaire, in a book which has had considerable success 
among the well-disposed, we find the following words to the same effect : 
"In Cromwell's time, a woman who kept a tallow-chandler's shop in 
Dublin, sold excellent candles, made of the fat of Englishmen. After 
some time, one of her customers complained that the candles were not so 
good. 'Sir,' said the woman, ' it is because we are short of Englishmen !' " 

In 1030 commenced one of the most dreadful famines which has ever 
desolated France, and continued for three years. Men, so to say, went 
to the chace after men. They attacked one another, not for robbery, 
but simply to procure food. During this famine an inhabitant of 
Macon, who professed to lodge travellers, was accused of having killed 
and eaten no less than forty-eight persons, whose bones were found in 
his house. He was burnt alive by order of Othon, Count of Macon. + 
But what should we say of cannibalism permitted by the law of the 
land. According to the ancient law of Spain, " a father besieged in his 
lord's castle, and pressed by hunger, might eat his own son without 
incurring any reproach sooner than surrender without his lord's man- 
date". This law is referred to in Las Siete Partidas, a code compiled 
by Alfonso El Sabio, and will be found in the Quarto, Partida, Tit. xvii, 
Ley. viii. I give a free translation of it from the original Spanish. 

"A father impelled by hunger and poverty, and having no other 
resource may sell or pledge his sons to obtain food ; and the reason is 
that he has no other means of preventing death. But there is still 
another reason — A father besieged in a castle which he holds of his lord 
and pressed by hunger, may eat his own son without incurring any re- 
proach sooner than surrender the castle without his lord's order. And if a 
father may do this for his lord, a fortiori he may do it for himself. And 
this is another right which a father has over those of his sons which are 
under his control, and which right the mother does not possess. It 
must, however, be understood that a father has no right either to pledge 
or sell his son except as a dernier ressort."% 

* Partington, Brit. Cyc. 

t See Migne, Encyc, Theol., t. i (Diet, des Sciences Pol. et Soc, 1), Paris, 
1855. 
% The original runs thus -. — " Quexado seyendo el padre de grand fambre, 



Charnock on Cannibalism in Europe. xxix 

It is reported that during the siege of Calahorra by Afranius, the 
famine was so terrible the defenders obeyed to the letter this ancient 
law, preferring to eat their sons and wives rather than surrender. This 
famine has become proverbial in history under the name of Kamhre 
Calagurritana. * 

Mr. Eeddie said he was not aware what was the real drift of the 
paper, for it seemed to relate as much to modern Europe as to the 
savages of former times. He much questioned whether the people of 
this country, when in a savage state, did eat human flesh. Setting 
aside a few extreme cases, it would be found that cannibalism, even 
among the lowest races of mankind, was not so predominant as some 
people suppose. The fact was, that human flesh did not agree with 
them. The Fiji islanders, among whom the practice undoubtedly 
prevails to some extent, always go to the medicine-man after having 
eaten human flesh. It is unnatural for any creature to eat the flesh 
of its own kind ; and the lower animals do not do so as a ride, but 
only in exceptional cases. There were, no doubt, exceptions to the 
rule in the days of Herodotus, as with us ; but the accounts that had 
been given of androphagi, were mere stories or poetical exaggera- 
tions, and it was absurd to rest an anthropological discussion on the 
illusions of poetical fancy and the tales of old women. The oft-re- 
peated statement of St. Jerome proved nothing. He most probably 
believed what he narrated, but he might have exaggerated what ap- 
peared to him to be the natural characteristics of a savage people. He 
hoped that Mr. Pritchard, and those who had had experience among 
people reputed to be addicted to cannibalism, would come forward, 
and say whether such cases were or were not exceptional. 

Mr. Pritchard said that, during his residence in Fiji, he had had 
ample opportunity of observing what was the custom regarding the 
eating of human flesh, and he could say that they did not do so 
from liking it ; but they ate their enemies out of revenge. He had 
often heard that they were taken ill afterwards, and it was understood 
among them that that was the general effect of eating human flesh. 

e auiendo tan grand pobreza, que non se pudiesse acorrer dotra cosa; estonce 
puede vender, o empefiar sus fljos, porque aya de que coniprar que coma. 
E la razon por que puede esto fazer, es esta : por que pues el padre non ha 
oti'O consejo, por que pueda estorcer de muerte el, nin el fljo, guisada cosa es, 
quel pueda vender, e acorrerse del precio : porque non inuera el vno, nin 
el otro : E aun ay otra razon por que el padre podria esto fazer : ea segund 
el fuero leal de Espafla, seyendo el padre cereado en algun Castillo que 
touiesse de Sefior, si fuesse tan cuytado de fambre que non ouisse al que 
comer, puede comer al fljo, sin mala estanca, ante que diesse el Castillo sin 
mandado de su Sefior. Onde, si esto puede fazer por el Sefior, guisada cosa 
es, que lo puede fazer por si mismo. E este es otro derecho de poder que 
ha el padre sobre sus fijos, que son en su poder, el qual no ha la madre. 
Pero esto se puede fazer en tal razon, que todos entiendan manifiestamente 
que assi es, quel padre non ha otro consejo, por que pueda estorcer de muerte, 
si non vendiere, a emperiare al fljo." 

_ * Durd tanto tiempo el sitio de esta c, que sus vec, consumidas las pro- 
visiones, despues de haberse alimentado algun tiempo conanimales inmundos, 
e hijos y alimentarse con su carne por lo que fue proverbial el hambre Cala- 
gurritana.— Madoz, quoting Val. Max., lib. vii, c. vij Sal. Hist., lib. iii, c. i. 



xxx Journal of the Anthropological Society. 

They were also prevented from doing so by dread of being visited by 
the spirits of those whom they had eaten. There were some terrible 
stories told of the cannibalism of the Fiji islanders, and he believed 
they were facts ; but the motives attributed to the natives were 
erroneous. One of the chiefs was said to have had pieces cut out of 
living men and eaten them, but it was intended as a warning to their 
enemies, and to terrify them. One of the chiefs admitted that he had 
often eaten parts of a great many men ; but he said he did it, not be- 
cause he liked it, but to frighten his enemies. 

Dr. Oaplin alluded to instances of cannibalism, when shipwrecked 
mariners were destitute of food and tossed up who should be killed 
and eaten. With respect to the taste of human flesh, he believed 
it was not different from that of beef; and he mentioned a horrid 
practical joke that had been played on a medical student, whose 
comrades cut out a piece from a body in the dissecting-room, and had 
it fried and served up to him as a beef-steak, which he ate, and 
thought very good. 

Dr. Beigel observed that there were two questions to be considered ; 
first, was there ever a time when cannibalism was practised in Europe ; 
and secondly, whether there were single instances of it. The first 
point, he thought, had not been proved ; such evidence as had been 
brought forward that evening having failed to establish it, and was 
not confirmed by history. With respect to the second question, he 
thought it was sufficiently proved. He mentioned a case in the 
course of his own practice in Silesia, of a young man who murdered 
his mother and ate her body. He had killed her in a quarrel ; and 
when accused of the crime, he admitted it, but contended that she 
had no right to quarrel with him, and that he was justified in killing 
and eating her. Dr. Beigel said that he and other medical men ex- 
amined the man, to ascertain whether he was insane ; but his mind, 
in other respects, seemed to be in a perfectly healthy state, and he 
was executed. Cases such as that, however, did not prove that can- 
nibalism was ever practised in Europe. 

Dr. Seemann adverted to the practice of cannibalism as a medical 
agent. He said that mummies were extensively used as medicine 
until it became generally known that in most instances Europeans 
were using bituminised portions of their own countrymen instead of 
the contemporaries of Barneses the Great and other early Egyptian 
monarchs. There had been a regular trade in them as medicines, 
and great virtues w r ere ascribed to mummy -flesh as a cure for several 
diseases. Cannibalism in another form was practised for medicinal 
purposes in Denmark and the north of Germany, where it was the 
custom to drink human blood for the cure of epilepsy. When criminals 
were executed, the blood was caught in a tumbler and drank. He 
had seen it done twenty years ago, and believed the practice was 
continued to the present day. 

Mr. Mackenzie observed, with reference to the use of human blood 
as a curative agent, that it might be attributed to the fact that in 
ancient times the practice was connected with the belief in the im- 
mortality of the soul. It was conceived that by transferring the 



Atkinson on Two Australian Skulls. xxxi 

blood of those who were dying into living bodies, the latter obtained 
their lives. In the middle ages, persons sold their souls under certain 
bonds, and made their immortality an article of commerce. 

The President brought the discussion to a close, by announcing 
that the next meeting would be the last, before the anniversary, at 
which new Fellows would be elected. 

The meeting then adjourned. 



December 19th, 1865. 
James Hunt, Esq., Ph.D., P.S.A., F.R.S.L., President, in the Chaib. 

The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. 

The names of the following new members were announced : — John 
Bennett, Esq., F.B.A.S., 74, Cheapside, E.C.; the Eev. Maurice 
Philip Clifford, D.D., 47, Great Ormond Street, W.C.; Samuel Har- 
raden, Esq., 32, St. John's Wood Park; W. H. Sherwood, Esq., 
M.B.C.S., Colonial Hospital, Bathurst, Gambia; John Underwood, 
Esq., M.D., George Street, Hastings. 

The following presents were announced, and thanks were voted for 
the same : — On the motions of the human feet ; on the loss of mus- 
cular power in the feet ; the foot and its covering, by James Dowie, 
Esq., F.A.S.L. (the author). Malay wooden sandal, Cape Town ; 
Damara sandal, eland skin sole and koodoo skin thongs ; Bechuana 
sandal from Lake Ngami, sole of brindled gnoo and thongs of koodoo ; 
Cheeka or loin cloth, goat skin from Lake Ngami ; Piece of giraffe 
skin as used by hunters for soles for velschoen ; Bushmen's sticks for 
procuring fire by friction; Cap of palm leaf, Lower Zambezi (T. 
Baines, Esq.) 

The names of the following gentlemen nominated as Auditors were 
announced : — George North, Esq. ; F. L. Cotton, Esq. 

The following papers were then read : — 

On Two Australian Skulls. By H. G. Atkinson, Esq., F.G.S., F.A.S.L. 

Extract from a letter received by H. G. Atkinson, Esq., F.G.S., 
F.AS.L. 

"They are the skulls of natives of New South Wales, dug up on the 
estate of my brother-in-law, Captain Ogilvie, on the Hunter, and 
brought home and given to my father by Mr. Cunningham, the author 
of a work on that country. I remember his pointing out some in- 
dentations in them, and explaining that almost all the same skulls 
found of this kind had such on them, arising from their mode of